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3 Naval Academy Football Players Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Female Midshipman To Have Article 32 Hearing

12:51 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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(MILITARY TIMES) --The case of three Naval Academy football players accused of sexually assaulting a female midshipman while she was unconscious will proceed to an Article 32 hearing, a Navy offiical confirmed.

Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the superintendent of the Naval Academy, has reviewed the investigation and referred the case to an Article 32 hearing, but charges have not yet been brought against the alleged offenders, according to the official, who is familiar with the case but would only speak on condition of anonymity. As a result, specific charges and the names of the players have not been released.

The female alleges she went to an off-campus party at the football house in April 2012, and became so intoxicated that she blacked out, said her attorney, Susan Burke.

"She learned from friends and social media that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was incapacitated," Burke said in a statement.

After reporting it to NCIS, she was disciplined for drinking, but the football players faced no consequences and the investigation was closed, Burke said. Burke alleged that one of the accused football players told the victim not to cooperate with NCIS and that the academy closed the investigation in 2012, citing the victim's unwillingness to cooperate as the reason.

The alleged victim reached out to Burke in early 2013 for help pursuing the case and the academy reopened the investigation, Burke said.

This is the second recent sex assault court case at the academy involving heavy drinking and lapses in memory. Earlier this month, a Marine major and former academy instructor was sentenced to 60 days in jail for having inappropriate relations with two female mids on the day of the annual croquet match between the Naval Academy and St. John's college.

Both women had been drinking heavily. He was accused of assaulting one of the women, but a jury found him not guilty on this charge. They found him guilty, however of one count of indecent acts, two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and two counts of fraternization at a court-martial in May at the Washington Navy Yard.

In addition to 60 days in jail, Thompson faces a $2,500 fine, per month, for two years and a reprimand that will become a permanent part of his record.

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